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Mon Jul 30, 2018, 01:41 AM

Wow. I didn't even know that hydroelectric plants could explode, killing people.

In an article about the explosion of an Indian coal plant boiler, killing 45 people and severely burning more, I clicked on an article referring to another explosion, this one at a hydroelectric plant, which killed 75 people.

Amazing.

Investigating the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro Power Plant Disaster

The destruction of the turbines and auxiliary equipment at Russia’s Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro Power Plant in August 2009 claimed the lives of 75 workers and wrecked an indispensable source of electricity that will take years to fully restore. The disaster, as this report explains, was predictable and preventable.

It was early Monday morning August 17, 2009, at the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro Power Plant (SSH), which is located on the Yenisei River, near Sayanogorsk in the Republic of Khakassia, in the southern region of the Russian Federation. By 8:00 a.m., technicians were operating multiple hydroelectric turbines at the plant, including Unit 2, and plant maintenance work on other equipment was continuing. Other members of the plant staff were arriving or having a final cup of coffee with colleagues before beginning the new work week. Overall, the plant was performing reasonably well in spite of the many nagging maintenance problems. In fact, just over a month earlier (July 2), RusHydro Public Corp. (RusHydro), the owner and operator of SSH, announced that the plant had set an all-time 24-hour electricity production record. Thirteen minutes later the plant lay in rubble and 75 workers had lost their lives...


Almost all of the estimated more than 200,000 deaths associated with hydroelectric dams in the last 50 years have involved collapse of the dams, and not explosions of the turbines. This type of accident is new to me, and I do try to keep my eye on such things.

Apparently the explosion resulted from cycling the turbines up and down repeatedly to meet demand/supply fluctuations. (I know this is an engineering problem in all turbine systems, including gas turbines, but it's OK if we cycle gas turbines up and down as the wind blows and then doesn't because we've convinced ourselves that wind power is "green." It isn't, but that's what we tell ourselves.)

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Reply Wow. I didn't even know that hydroelectric plants could explode, killing people. (Original post)
NNadir Jul 2018 OP
Eko Jul 2018 #1
progree Jul 2018 #3
Eko Jul 2018 #4
Mopar151 Jul 2018 #2
Kilgore Jul 2018 #5
NNadir Jul 2018 #6
John ONeill Aug 2018 #7
hunter Aug 2018 #8

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2018, 01:48 AM

1. A freaking lawnmower can explode.

A 9 volt battery can explode, and you say you know science? That is indeed way too funny. This is not in any way to downplay the loss if life, that is serious and horrible and not funny in any way, NNadirs grasp of science is what is funny and that is it.

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Response to Eko (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 30, 2018, 03:00 AM

3. A turbine at a nuclear power plant (or any kind of power plant) can explode too. n/t

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Response to progree (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 30, 2018, 03:29 AM

4. Aw,

you must not care about the 7 million people who die from carbon dioxide released from the fossil fuel plants released every year, You horrible person you. Only Nuclear can save us now and forever.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2018, 02:02 AM

2. Russian "maintenance"

Some people can break an anvil in a sandbox, barehanded! Oligarchs like these people, put them in charge of whiny engineers.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2018, 09:41 AM

5. Not surprising after reading the entire article

When a facility is operated with no regard to its limits...from the article,

++++++++
The logs show that on August 17, 2009, at 8:13 a.m., ARPJC had set Unit 2 output power in the “not recommended” zone in order to meet grid demands, and the plant operations staff did not object. This was the final decision—following a long history of ignoring operating and maintenance deficiencies and obvious fatigue cracks in the turbine mounting structure—that caused the almost complete destruction of the SSH.
++++++++

And you ignore maintenance issues plus dont even install all the parts...from the article,

++++++++
A number of forensic investigations where carried out following the incident. Turbine foundation bolts were subjected to thorough examination. The bolts found were broken, and fatigue damage covered an average of 65% of a bolt’s cross-sectional area. Some of the bolts had no traces of nut breaking, meaning that nuts had not even been installed on the bolts.
++++++++

Its not surprising that catastrophes happen and lives were lost.

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Response to Kilgore (Reply #5)

Mon Jul 30, 2018, 03:20 PM

6. I am aware that the plant was poorly maintained.

It is, I believe, not Kosher here to reproduce articles in their entirety. Providing an excerpt and a link should cover it.

Despite your claim I am ignoring a factor, I am making a point - at least it was my intention to make a point - that there is an engineering issue with cycling large turbines up and down. In reading papers about grid integration of unreliable systems operating in a random fashion, I have come to see that engineers, admittedly a much despised class of people, have noted this in connection with all those "competitive" gas plants on which we're running this country while we engage in our quixotic quest to make so called "renewable" energy meaningful which it hasn't been, isn't, and won't be.

Thus if one is properly maintaining a plant one will need to do it more frequently and pay with lower capacity utilization due to down time.

Almost any turbine can suffer this strain from inertial torque. It's probably why the internet is awash with so many photos of burning wind turbines.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2018, 03:08 AM

7. SSH

Interesting that the Sayano-Shushenskaya accident killed more people than Chernobyl - including the later thyroid cancer cases - and was more recent, but nobody's heard of it. Also, the dam has structural problems, exacerbated in part by the accident, and by increasing flood and ice flows.
'...This situation has led some of the local population to petition for controlled draining of the reservoir and deconstruction of the dam, since the consequences of the dam's failure, should it occur, would be catastrophic. The resulting flood wave, which could be from 50 to 200 m high near the breach and moving at up to 200 km/h, would destroy the downstream Maynskaya HPP in a matter of minutes; the nearby town of Sayanogorsk would be flooded in under half an hour, and the heavily populated area including Abakan and Minusinsk (altogether more than 200,000 people)—within 40 minutes to several hours. After reaching the Krasnoyarskaya HPP further downstream, the flood wave would rise its reservoir by roughly 10 m and spill over its dam, destroying the power plant machinery. If that dam should fail too (the possibility of which exists in this scenario), the resulting mass of water could wash away the city of Krasnoyarsk and its suburbs, drowning or displacing their population of over 1,000,000.'( Wiki)
That might be compared to the risk that, for example, a fire could put 137Cesium from the Red Forest back in the air. Also, the four RBMK reactors at Chernobyl, rated at a Gigawatt each, probably gave more power in a year than the seasonal 6.4GW SSH does. Three of them carried on working for five, ten and fourteen years, respectively, after the explosion, and Russia still has eleven RBMKs in service - all retrofitted to exclude a similar criticality event. The last of them is slated to close in 2034, by which time more pressurised water reactors should be in place instead.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2018, 12:57 PM

8. The before/after photo is terrifying, especially to anyone who has ever visited...

...the turbine hall of a very large dam.



https://www.powermag.com/investigating-the-sayano-shushenskaya-hydro-power-plant-disaster/?pagenum=2

Of further note, more than 100 metric tons of oil was spilled in the accident, killing trout in farms downstream, and otherwise damaging the environment. Which reminds me again how non-radioactive toxins spilled by tsunamis, some of them having half lives of forever, are largely ignored by anti-nuclear activists.

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